It’s a wonerful thing when one gets a free lunch.
They actually do exist on trail. At least while you’re hiking it. Free lunch. Today’s lunch cost about $2 but my night’s stay indoors is free. I’m in a barn in Falls Village, Connecticut.
I’m on my inflatable comfy (but stankin) matress on the hardwood floor, which needed sweepin, of an old (of course) red barn just behind the Toymaker’s Cafe. The barn is otherwise used to store old motorcycles. One poor soul is in parts on a bed sheet by Bunny’s head, ready for examination by the next intern at smalltown CT bike school. It f-ing reeks of oil but the rain was really pounding down today.
So, the cafe owner just lets us kip in his barn. They just straight up open part of their (admittedly oily) home to hiker trash. That’s magic right there. “Come one, come all, eat pizza drink beer and sleep amongst my clapped out motors, yo”.
Is there no end to the love that ordinary folk give us?! Most magic is seemingly (to most) small. A few gallon jugs of cold spring water in the middle of the iron-tainted desert that is New York, a can of coke in a shelter, unexpected, a ride when you didn’t even think about asking for one, a whole goddamn cooler full of all the things you’d never expect in the middle of the mountains…band aids, ice tea mix, denatured. Thanks Mac n Cheese! A beer n a hotdog cos folks know we hardcore. Trail magic is real magic and it is all over.
Many are all about the southern hospitality. I am too. But don’t worry ’bout crossing Mr. Mason n Mr Dixon’s line. It’s here too though less obvious, I suppose. People are more interested up here so that leads to some super star moments in state park parking areas and free cokes. More impromtu moments maybe.
Anyway, a tip of one’s headlamp to all those that give up a little for us hikers heading north and south 2200 miles. Your love is truly appreciated.
Suds’ second day of micheladas and cheap hotdogs coming up somtime in MA!